Best Airline Credit Cards in India (2019)

By | January 17, 2019

Last Updated: 17th Jan 2019

There are different types of credit cards in travel space and here we’re looking at only Airline Miles related co-branded credit cards that are linked to Airline Loyalty programs.

Currently there are only three Airlines in India that are linked to Indian Credit Cards with good Airmile redemption options. Indigo may join in late 2019 but that’s too early to comment.

Here are the Airlines and their Loyalty program names along with approx. value of each Mile/Point.

  • Jet Airways – JetPrivilege ( 1 JP Mile = 1 INR )
  • Air India – Flying Returns ( 1 AI Mile = 0.50 INR )
  • Air Vistara – Club Vistara ( 1 CV Point = 0.75 INR )

Note: The value of the Mile/Point totally depends upon your ability to redeem to maximum value. Above mentioned numbers works for me as of now. Now let’s see some of India’s best Airline Credit cards and their approx. reward rates.

Best Airline Miles Co-branded Credit Cards

1. Axis Vistara Infinite

Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card

The newest airline in India has one of the best rewarding credit card in the Industry. Apart from the welcome voucher, this card gives upto 3 Business Class vouchers based on your spends and the reward rate is as unbelievable as 15%.

It is also by far the easiest and fastest card to earn business class vouchers as Axis bank and Vistara has wonderful integration in place to post the points & vouchers to account faster.

Redemptions are super easy and you can check out my first redemption experience here: Vistara Business Class Review (MAA-DEL)

2. HDFC Diners Jet

JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card

While there are many JetPrivilege Cards in the market, HDFC Diners Cards stands apart from the rest as you can earn tier points too on your regular spends apart from the JPMiles. This means you can get into Platinum status faster without actually flying.

Though, the only downside of this credit card is that its not a Visa or Mastercard but Diners Club itself and the Diners Club acceptance is not 100%. Hence you always need one backup card to be on safer side.

3. Amex Jet Privilege

American Express Jet Airways Credit Card

The specialty of the card is that, it gives access to the Proprietary American Express Lounge in Delhi & Mumbai. You also get a bit of hotel perks, unlimited domestic lounge access & more. I recently got this card and totally love its design 🙂

4. ICICI Jet Saphirro

ICICI Jet Sapphiro Credit card

Its again an American Express Credit Card issued by ICICI Bank. I personally use this card for international spends as it gives 7% earn rate, though it has upper cap and so its good for under 10L annual spend only.

It also gives complimentary airport spa access & lucrative Amex offers are targeted for ICICI issued cards every now and then. Its totally worth it.

5. SBI Air India Signature

SBI Air India Signature

No one is actually interested in flying Air India isn’t it? Well, this card gets you access to other Star Alliance Airline partner as well, like Thai Airways & Singapore Airlines, which makes it worth giving a try.

Fortunately, even Air India has decent product as i flew on one of their Dreamliner recently. Check out my first flight on: Air India 787 Dreamliner Business Class

6. HDFC Jet World/Signature

HDFC Bank Jet Privilege World Credit Card

Its not really a great card to start with, but its probably the only Jet Airways card that you can get it for free. I personally got this card when they had unlimited domestic lounge access benefit (now reduced to 4/qtr).

Note: Voucher Redemptions on Jet are one of the toughest and you need to plan a month in advance to increase chances.

Miles redemptions are bit tough as well but not so tough if you plan atleast 1 week in advance. Check out my first Jet Airways flight experience here: Jet Airways Domestic Business Class Review


Airline credit cards are primarily useful for business class redemptions and are strictly only for the frequent flyers with a specific airline. The business of Airmiles & loyalty program exists because a lot of us don’t actually use them.

I knew a well educated friend of mine who had thousands of JPMiles years back but never used it and now he has few hundreds left.

Other deciding factor is the connectivity, especially with Vistara. There is no point in getting Vistara cards if you don’t have connectivity from your flying city.

Hence, choose the card based on your frequency of travel, spend pattern & connectivity.

If you travel less frequently with multiple airlines, you should rather look for reward points related travel credit cards. Check out best travel credit cards in India for more info.

Which Airline Co-branded credit card do you use and how are you making maximum value out of it? Feel free to share your experiences in comments below.

21 thoughts on “Best Airline Credit Cards in India (2019)

  1. Shivi

    .@ Sid – Heads up at Number # 5 -SBI Air India Signature card reward points. It should be Air India miles and not “JPMiles” Earn Rate: 5% (easy)– 10%(rare)!

  2. Guru

    Sid, Thanks for sharing the list. I use both HDFC and ICICI JetPrivilege CC extensively. The JP Miles get credited faster for HDFC as compared to ICICI in your JP account. Installing JetPrivilege Scout extension in Chrome will help you earn additional JP Miles on several affiliated shopping websites.


  3. Maulin N Tolia

    Hi Siddharth,
    How did you calculate 1 JP mile = 1 Rs?

    In my calculations, I am getting 1 JP mile = 0.4, 0.3, 0.25 etc by comparing the miles required & the actual price of some common flights. (Chennai – Mumbai, Chennai – Delhi, Mumbai – Delhi etc)
    Then if we redeem it for Amazon vouchers we get 1 JP mile = 0.25 Rs.

    Would like to know if I am correct in the way I calculate.

    Thank you

    1. Siddharth Post author

      I primarily refer to Business class redemptions when it comes to Airmiles.

  4. ajay

    why no mention of Citi Premier Miles ? you gave 4.5 rating for same.

  5. Ravi

    Hi Sid, Can you specify which credit/debit cards today offer highest free complimentary lounge visits on the Visa lounge network/domestic lounges in India?

    1. Sharathkumar Anbu

      IMHO SC Emirates is not an useful card. Let me show how

      Emirates world credit card gives 3 Skyward Miles on every INR 150 spent on all other transactions (Spends apart from booking flight tickets with Emirates)

      Assuming that Air Miles gives higher benefits in Business class, I am considering a business class flight ticket from Chennai to Dubai in Emirates

      For a ticket in business class, You would need 52500 Skywards Miles for booking award ticket in business class

      Revenue ticket for business class from Chennai to Dubai cost 80K.

      Fare breakdown:

      Fare INR Indian Rupees 48,760
      Carrier-imposed charges INR Indian Rupees 21,765
      Taxes and fees INR Indian Rupees 9,134

      Note: Skywards Miles can be redeemed for the base ticket fare, excluding carrier imposed charges, taxes and fees.

      Hence to book a award ticket using skyward miles from Chennai to Dubai cost you 52500 Skyward miles + 30,899 Rupees (For carrier imposed charges and taxes & fees)

      Also to earn 52,500 Skyward miles, You need to spend Rs. 26,25,000.

      Whereas in Jet Airways, Award ticket from Mumbai to Dubai needs only 30K miles + 5000 Rupees.

      Highest earning rate for jet airways cards is 8 JP Miles / Rs. 150.

      With the highest earning rate, if you spend 5,62,500 Rupees, You will get 30K JP Miles and if you spend 5000 rupees you will get a business class ticket from Mumbai to Dubai.

      So you can compare which is better and you can understand how bad the Emirates card too

      1. Siddharth Post author

        Thanks for sharing your views with nice example! Hope many finds it useful.

  6. Dharmil Shah

    I currently changed my credit card Diners Club Rewardz to Jet Airways World credit card from HDFC bank. My old card had around 3900 reward points which were automatically converted to JP miles in my last statement as I upgraded to the new Credit card.

    My query is that it has been around 20 days and the points which have been converted are still not visible in my JP miles account.

    I would like to know the time it takes for such transfers from bank statements to JP miles account.

    Thank you

  7. Sagar

    They have brought new offer on ICICI Jet Privilege Sapphire Credit Card which is applicable in the month of January. Annual fee of 2500+Tax instead of 5000+Tax for first year and 12500 JP miles instead of 10000 JP miles. If you apply through Jet Privilege website you’ll get 8000 bonus JP miles and few other rewards.

    I got this card last month 🙁 missed out on paying half fees and getting more JP miles. This card looks the best right now to earn JP miles. Keep in mind that JP miles is capped at 60000 per year, to earn beyond that you need to pay RS 7500.

  8. Mahesh tiwari

    Can you suggest me ,which credit card with be best for me me for air reword point?

  9. Raamakrushnan S

    Hello All
    I heard from ICICI that they have stopped issuing Jetprevilege co-branded card due to closure of Jet Airways since the tie up is to the airlines. Request confirmation from the members

    If this is true looks like we have only Vistara or Indian Airlines Co-branded Cards

    Anyone tried Citi Bank’s Premier Miles Card?

    Thank you

  10. Abin Joy

    I have 2 credit cards by ICICI
    Platinum and Amazon-ICICI one.Want to cancel one of them.Which one should I keep

    1. Praveen Katiyar

      ICICI platinum can be closed. Amazon card is better n simple in terms of rewards.
      Hope it helps..!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *